Endeavoring to develop its range of small 2.0 speakers, Creative recently launched the T60s, a name that hides a not-so-obvious positioning compared to the more powerful T100s: between a slight downgrade and new features, more modernity.
great modernity. As a historical figure in PC sound, Creative has some struggles with changing user needs. Today, the manufacturer is more relaxed with more diverse ranges and better integrated into the new audio markets. Creative did not hesitate to enter the world of soundbars and Bluetooth speakers. We are testing exactly the last of this category today. This gives the Creative T60s the luxury of filling a laptop PC with sound as easily as a smartphone or a real gaming PC.
Simple and elegant
Shortly after the Logitech Z407 review, we have another kit dedicated to, but not limited to, gaming. The Creative T60 relies on the same qualities as the product from Switzerland, but let’s not crawl and start opening the kit. Creative effectively protects their baby who, if well packaged, is unlikely to arrive in bad shape. Inside we find the two speakers – no subwoofer, we are in the presence of a 2.0 – and various accessories: the specific sector plugs for each country and the power supply, the 3.5 mm cable (1.2 m), USB-C Cable (1.2 m), headphone extension cable (30 cm) and USB-C to USB-A adapter.
At first glance, something is wrong without actually being able to say what: Quite simply, the two satellites are not exactly the same size. The difference is not huge, but still surprising: the left satellite is a little wider. The right satellite, in turn, acts as a control unit and everything is connected to it. So we connect the power supply and the cable between the two satellites and then have to decide on the type of connection with which we want to operate the T60. At this level, like the Logitech Z407, it shows all its versatility.
So it is possible to connect it wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.0, but also to use the aux input or, and it is our privileged choice for use with a fixed or laptop PC, to connect our little world in USB-VS. Note that while the cables supplied by Creative are complete, they are quite short: four feet, which is perfect for a laptop, less for a desktop PC. On the other hand, we would like to underline the extremely simple aspect of this connection: Even absolute newbies only have a few seconds until they have a perfectly functioning device. This versatility of connection is set parallel to the aesthetics and size of the product.
In fact, the lack of a subwoofer and the relatively small size of the satellites make the T60 a suitable kit for most scenarios. They can therefore be combined with different products, but also with different installations in the office or at home. We regret that Creative does not offer a white color to please everyone, but the elegance of the black dress should allow it to adapt to most situations. Creative has managed to stay sober, but the design of the satellites keeps a modern touch that hits the mark. The only real design regret is the lack of a remote control or box.
Let’s not exaggerate the lack of this oversight from Creative, as the compactness of the kit means the controls of the right satellite are never far away. It has a large potentiometer for volume and three buttons. One to turn it on / off, a second to activate surround sound or switch to headset / microphone – we’ll come back to that – and a third for the ClearDialog option. Each button has its own small LED that cannot be deactivated, but remains discreet. To be honest, there isn’t much to complain about with Creative. Oh yes, one detail: the satellites’ shiny face takes fingerprints very well.
A good return on investment, interesting software / material options
The variety of connection options of the T60 prompted us to test the box in various scenarios. We started with the Bluetooth 5.0 mode, which is very practical for connecting the flight to the smartphone and listening to the music of a friend passing by, for example. It’s still possible to use it with a PC – laptop or desktop – but we have to highlight one very unfortunate caveat: Creative settles for the only SBC codec here, while Bluetooth can do a lot better. The playback quality is then impaired by the transmission technology, even if it can of course still be used properly.
There can be no question of such a restriction in USB-C mode, of course, and here we were able to use our HD songs to test the rendering of the T60 … and are quite satisfied with it. Of course we have to be right and the bass response suffers from the lack of a box / the size of the speakers, with a song like Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, for example, we clearly perceive the limits of the product. However, there is really nothing to complain about. We’re still enjoying a good descent into bass and the overall homogeneity is interesting. The mids show no depressions and the heights are very moderate.
The Creative T60 therefore has particularly interesting arguments when you restrict the sound space in a small living room. We’ll avoid turning the volume up too hard, but that’s not really surprising with satellites this compact. We’ll also avoid activating the surround mode: It’s a matter of taste, of course, but if it actually widens the soundstage, then it also tends to make the whole thing much less precise, more steamy. In order. On the other hand, the other options that Creative offers can be pretty impressive. The ClearDialog is an excellent surprise when listening to a podcast, for example: the voices come out very well, but it is not suitable for listening to music.
Note that Surround and ClearDialog will not work when using headphones … as this is one of the T60’s notable strengths. It has the jack connector on the back to connect a headset, microphone or headset, but the implementation is particularly interesting because you can easily manage everything with the Creative software. We switch from one device to another with impressive efficiency: a button on the front enables the switch and the SmartComms kit can be activated so that our voice is automatically recognized at the smallest word. A so-called NoiseClean function perfects the table: It eliminates background noises in order to ensure good exchange quality.
SMALL PRINT SET THAT SUMMARIES EVERYTHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS
On paper you could think of the T60 as a kind of little brother that was not inspired by the T100, in practice it is much more. If you had to make concessions, Creative mainly took advantage of integrating interesting new software with this ClearDialog module for more prominent voices or the SmartComms kit for better communication. Unfortunately, the latter is only compatible with Windows 10. It’s a shame for Macs. If it is perhaps a little behind the bass side, the T60 offers the essentials and offers a balanced audio reproduction without pronounced defects, as long as the volume is not increased too much. In short, a well thought-out product, rich in diverse functions and that knows how to keep it affordable.
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